Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Learning with Rebecca Green

Rebecca Green from Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University in Michigan was the First Place Winner of the $1200 Scholarship Award in the 2008 Fine Art Finals Midwest Regional Scholarship Competition with her 11"x14" oil painting Tower of Learning pictured above. Rebecca was kind to take part in a brief interview. Here is what she said:

Fine Art Finals: Why do you create art?

Rebecca Green:
I feel most like myself when I am doing it. I find an immense amount of joy when someone is moved or affected by the work that my hands can make.

Fine Art Finals: What are you trying to say with your art?

Rebecca Green: As an illustrator, I have no huge concepts, but I hope to someday portray someone else’s narrative. When I am doing my own work, I love to create worlds that are a bit off-key and skewed in a comical sort of quirky way. I think my illustrations tend to make people happy, and I like that.

Fine Art Finals: How long have you been creating art?

Rebecca Green: Literally since I can remember. I had a drawing of a mermaid published in the school newspaper in kindergarten and I knew from then on that I loved to do it.

Fine Art Finals: Are your family and friends supportive in your decision to pursue art?

Rebecca Green: At first my mother was a bit hesitant, but I think the farther I go into it, she started to see that it could really be a flourishing career for me. All of my other family members have always been very supportive, and most of my friends are artists, so we all support each other.

Fine Art Finals: What is your area of concentration in art (commercial art, fine art, art history, etc) and why?

Rebecca Green: I am concentrating in commercial illustration, and have a minor in graphic design. I love to merge text and images, and this can be done in illustrations, or graphic design, sculpture, or even fine art, which I do all of. I think of myself as an artist, but hate to just focus on one aspect. It all makes me happy.

Fine Art Finals: What was the deciding factor in choosing the school you are attending?

Rebecca Green: Honestly, it was cost. I would love to go out of state and study in a more competitive school, but I had to stick to a budget. After studying here for a while, I realized it was more about the portfolio than the school, so I am very self-motivated.

Fine Art Finals: What is your major?

Rebecca Green: Illustration.

Fine Art Finals: Why did you choose the specific art program you chose at your school?

Rebecca Green: I started in graphic design because it was more stable, and the more I got into it, I realized most of my designs contained illustrations, I discovered my love for drawing was so intense, that it was worth risking that job security. So I switched to illustration.

Fine Art Finals: What is your favorite medium(s) to work in and why?

Rebecca Green: Right now, I love doing line drawings. I love ink and graphite, but I enjoy oil too. Oil takes a while, so I don’t complete too many paintings, but I do enjoy it.

Fine Art Finals: What is your philosophy and work ethic in creating your art?

Rebecca Green: I have a very strong work ethic. I am kind of a perfectionist, and have a hard time limiting myself to the type of art I can create. I do more realistic work in my classes and more quirky stuff outside of class. I know to actually survive as an artist, it takes much more than what is asked of you, and I always have an urge to push myself.

Fine Art Finals: Who is your favorite artist(s) and why?

Rebecca Green: Now this will sounds cliché, but Norman Rockwell for sure. He was an absolute genius illustrator in my opinion. His paintings are phenomenal. I am also a huge fan of Andrew Wyeth.

Fine Art Finals: What artist most influences your work and why?

Rebecca Green: Right now, I am influenced by a lot of different artists. To name a couple, Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio, Courtney Reagor, (Cant get enough of her) Ryan Graber, Jeffrey Hein (my goodness he is an amazing painter) and Greg Couch.

Fine Art Finals: Do you have any other interests beyond art; what are they and do these interests influence your art?

Rebecca Green: I used to do a little theatre, so that sort of “Show” world influences my work. I love shows, whether its theatre or dance, or carnivals or circuses. I love the quirky world of shows. I also love animals tremendously, and very much enjoy drawing them.

Fine Art Finals: Is there a specific career path you wish to follow utilizing your artistic talents, and if so, what is your plan for utilizing your artistic skills in the future?

Rebecca Green: When I graduate, I hope to travel and see as much of the world as I can. I have been living in Michigan most of my life, and as an illustrator, I think it’s so important to see new things and keep fresh eyes. I hope to work from the road, sending work digitally, and enter my work in shows all over the country. It’s a big dream, but I think it could happen if I work my tail off.

Fine Art Finals: How do (did) you support yourself financially while attending college?

Rebecca Green: I received scholarships and financial aid to cover the cost of school. I also work two jobs while going to school full time to keep up with the cost of living and supplies. I have had to take out student loans as well, which I will begin paying after graduation.

Fine Art Finals: Have you received any other financial assistance (Scholarships, Fellowships, Grants, etc) to pursue your education?

Rebecca Green: I received scholarships from the school I attend, as well as the Pell Grant, and other governmental awards and loans.

Fine Art Finals: How did you hear about Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions?

Rebecca Green: My life drawing teacher handed out the forms for it, he is pretty good at keeping us updated about competitions.

Fine Art Finals: How has winning or placing in Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions helped you?

Rebecca Green: As far as the monetary award goes, it has definitely helped me in purchasing supplies, and having a better safety net just in case something may happen. It also has helped me in getting my name out there, making new contacts, and its also really great to have on my resume.

Fine Art Finals: Has any opportunities presented themselves as a result of winning or placing in Fine Art Finals Scholarship Competitions?

Rebecca Green: I have made contacts with other students in different schools, which is always nice. Its always great to discuss schools with other students, because each one can be so different than the other.

Fine Art Finals: What advice would you give other student artists?

Rebecca Green: To feed off of competition. And if you can’t find it in your school, search outside resources. Always be aware of what’s going on outside of school, learn from other artists, and compare yourself to them. Work to be as good as them, and perhaps someday you can surpass them. If you are going to take the risk of being an artist, go all the way. Always keep your eyes open for new shapes, colors, lines, details. Get inspired by small things, because they can turn into big ideas.

Fine Art Finals: Thank you Rebecca. Congratulations again, and we wish you continued success!